Pope Francis has said,
If we can realize that everything is God’s gift, how happy will our hearts be! Everything is his gift. He is our strength! … Saying ‘thank you’ is such an easy thing, and yet so hard!
When people pray, their prayer is mostly one of petition and intercession; the prayer of thanksgiving is often left unsaid.
Yet, research has indicated that when people take time to be thankful or grateful, it can make them happier, healthier and aware of counting their blessings each day. Here are three steps we recommend to becoming more thankful.
- Say Those Little Words – Pope Francis adds: “If families can say these three things, they will be fine: ‘Sorry,’ ‘Excuse me,’ ‘Thank you.’ How often do we say ‘thank you’ in our families? How often do we say ‘thank you’ to those who help us, those close to us, those at our side throughout life? All too often we take everything for granted!” Make a habit of saying these phrases daily, especially to those closest to you!
- Make a List of These 25 Things – Consider writing a list of 25 blessings for which you are thankful. In doing so, you will begin to realize how many blessings, gifts and good things you have received or experienced. There is joy in re-discovering this fact!
- 5 Living People for Whom You Are Grateful
- 5 Physical Abilities for Which You Are Grateful
- 5 Places You Are Happy to Have Visited
- 5 Things about This Year for Which You Are Grateful
- 5 Things about the Catholic Church for Which You Are Grateful
- Remember that “God Was There” – At the same time, let’s not forget to list the ‘not so good moments.’ They remind us that God was, and is, with us in those moments, as well. How do we benefit from this exercise? Archbishop Fulton Sheen has the answer: “No man can be happy on the outside who is already unhappy on the inside.” For each major ‘not so good moment’ from this year, reflect on how God was present.
Let’s take advantage of the remainder of this month, approaching time with family and friends in deeper gratitude.